Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"The Scenery Diet " - by Pia Zadora

One of my faves!

The Lonely Lady is a 1983 film directed by Peter Sasdy and adapted to screen by Ellen Shepard from the novel written by Harold Robbins. Some consider it one of the worst films ever made mainly because of its clich├ęd storyline. Its plot and bad acting won it a Razzie.

Jerilee Randall (Pia Zadora) is an innocent schoolgirl living in the San Fernando Valley who dreams of becoming a famous writer. Shortly after winning a trophy for her creative writing, she meets the son of a famous screenwriter, Walter Thornton (Lloyd Bochner), at a party. She goes home with the son, along with some other friends. During a late evening pool party, Jerilee is sexually assaulted with a garden hose nozzle by one of the "friends" (Ray Liotta). Walter Thornton arrives after the assault has taken place and saves her from further attacks. A friendship develops between them, and they soon marry, despite the disapproval of Jerilee's mother (Bibi Besch).

The marriage begins to fall apart when she rewrites one of his scripts leading to his humiliation and erectile dysfunction. Divorce is inevitable when Walter scorns Jerilee during an argument and accuses her of enjoying her prior garden hose assault.

As the years pass, Jerilee has several bad affairs while trying to get her screenplay produced. She is coerced into a hot tub three-way with a producer and his aggressive wife. Jerilee is so traumatized by this experience that she showers while fully clothed (rubbing off the shame?). This scene leads to her nervous breakdown sequence where she sees the callous people of her past appear as faces on the keys of her typewriter which she tosses to the floor.

The film ends with Jerilee finally successful and winning a prestigious award (Oscar-ish) for her screenplay of a film called the "The Hold-outs". At the live awards telecast, she admits to her ex-husband Walter Thornton (in attendance) that she has never learned "the meaning of self-respect." Jerilee Randall then refuses to accept the award, and walks out of the auditorium with her newfound dignity.


  • Pia was fresh off her Golden Globe award win for her work in the incest drama "Butterfly" - a win which many Hollywood insiders contributed to as having been "bought" by her billionaire hubby (gee, ya think?)
  • "music coordination" is credited to The Scotti Brothers (Tony Scotti began his career as an actor, portraying Tony Polar, in the 1967 cult camp classic "Valley of the Dolls".)
  • When touring the talk show circuit to promote this film, Pia Zadora repeatedly portrayed it as "a cross between Rocky (1976) and Emmanuelle (1974)".
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